The Bracket has been unleashed. Millions of people everywhere are filling out multiple brackets faster than they’ve filled out their taxes, or for those of us with direct deposit, faster than the pending stimulus check notification in our bank accounts.
Either way, I wanted to look a little bit into the past to see if I really should have that #6 seed in the Final Four (i.e. San Diego State); Or, should I really be trying so hard to avoid pitting 2 #1 seeds in the Championship Game so the competition doesn’t think I’m just playing the odds (also known as “The Safe Bet”) “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”, as Seinfeld once said.
Looking at the finals from 2000-2019, #1 seeds run the show.
Of the last 20 Championship Games, 14 times a 1 seed has won the Title. On top of that, 22 #1 seeds have made it to the Finals out of 40 teams. So even though, you probably don’t want to be THAT person, going with at least 1 of the top 4 teams in the country is not only a “Safe Bet”, it’s also a SMART one.
However, there are 4 #1 seeds, so Choose wisely. Only 6 of the 20 finals had 2 #1 seeds playing each other. So not only must you choose the right #1 you must also find another lower seed to pit against that 1.
6 other seeds have won championships in that time span, twice for #2 seeds, three times for #3 seeds, and the lone 7 seed won in 2014 when a red hot UConn team ran all the way to the final against a red hot #8 Kentucky.
It’s no wonder filling out your own bracket can be so fun and mentally draining. Just a few other championship facts below:
- Once has a #1 seed lost the championship game to a lower seed:
- #1 UNC lost to #2 Villanova in 2016
- A #1 seed made the Championship 55% of the time
- Producing 70% of the National Champions
- A #2 seed has made the final game 30% of the time producing 2 champions:
- #2 Villanova over #1 UNC in 2016
- #2 UConn over #3 Georgia Tech in 2004
- A #3 seed has also made the final game 6 times, producing 3 champions:
- #3 UConn over #8 Butler in 2011
- #3 Florida over #2 UCLA in 2006
- #3 Syracuse over #2 Kansas in 2003
- 3 #5 seeds have made the Championship but didn’t win:
- Butler in 2010
- Indiana in 2002
- Florida in 2000
- 1 #8 seed has made the final:
- Kentucky in 2014
Tournament Results 2000-2019
As you can see 1 seeds are all the rage, however I can’t decide which of Gonzaga, Michigan, Baylor, and Illinois will make it. Also, my personal pre-conference tournament pick of Florida State seems more unlikely as a #4 seed hasn’t won a championship in the last 20 years.
Good Luck on your brackets. Sometimes that’s all you need.
*In 2014 Kentucky was an 8 seed